The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

Original Art by Emily Dow
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Jackie and her brother, Daniel.
Smiling for Survivors
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Who’s Going to be the Next JohnEthan?

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We’ve all heard his laugh from down the hall, his music blasting in the quad on nice days, and his goofy, yet charming morning announcements. As someone who always brings the energy and enthusiasm wherever he’s at, JohnEthan has become the person we all look to during school-wide events. He’s been instrumental in cultivating school spirit, and now that he’s graduating, it’s hard to imagine going to MSE without him. It’s on us to carry on what he’s started. 

Getting up in front of the entire school and running a school-wide event, such as the talent show or olympics, is no small feat. And yet JohnEthan makes it look effortless, like it’s no sweat. But is it really as easy as he makes it seem? 

No one, not even JohnEthan, can do it alone. “Quick shoutout to Makhi. I’ve known Makhi since third grade, that’s why we work so closely together. That’s why I call him my brother. I’ve known him for ten years already. But yeah, me and Makhi have great chemistry because we’ve known each other for so long. We know how to build each other. So you know, during the talent show, as the act is going on, we would run to the staircase and go ‘okay, what are we doing this act?’ It’s off the top of the head. Makhi is a great co-president, a great friend, a great brother. Shout out to him. None of this would be possible without him.”

When it comes down to it,  JohnEthan sees himself as a performer. Even as a kid, he was immediately drawn to the stage. He describes performing as a rollercoaster: “It comes to you, its energy. Like you can be shy and scared and nervous to go on but once they close the gates, you’re strapped in, you can’t get out. And so once I’m locked in, I’m putting my best foot forward.” Getting in front of the whole school, cracking jokes, and keeping everyone entertained at an event they may or may not want to be at is the art of improv: creating something funny out of (seemingly) nothing. Rule #1 of improv? Say ‘yes, and’. Agree to what was presented to you and then add something of your own. 

When I asked JohnEthan if he’s always had a lot of confidence, he laughed. “Everyone always asks me this. And honestly, yes, always. One thing I was raised on, from both my parents and all my family, is that the first impression is the best impression. So I walk in with a lot of confidence, always have confidence, and always will have confidence. One thing my mom always tells me is ‘you are greatness. And if you ever don’t feel like it, take a second, stop, and remember it.’ And that always helps. Whenever s*** happens, I’m like, let me remind myself of who I am.” So perhaps that’s the key: you have to know who you are before you can cultivate true confidence. 

But there’s a big difference between confidence and cockiness. “I’ve always had confidence but it wasn’t always good confidence. It was egocentric confidence. MSE definitely helped me realize that. At the beginning of high school, I was just self centered. Like people would say oh ‘where’s your compassion?’ or ‘do you not care?’ And I really didn’t care. I thought ‘I’m the best at everything I do’. Back in middle school, I was always in the top ten GPA and I came here and I was like ‘oh, okay.’ Now I’m one of the biggest enforcers of school spirit. I never thought that that would happen but I like the way things change.” 

JohnEthan still thinks that school spirit isn’t where it needs to be, but he is optimistic about the future: “The year we came back after Covid, it was higher because we had the sophomores and the juniors. Now, I feel like people are still getting acclimated to it because this is all of our second year back, but school spirit wasn’t talked about.” Luckily, he’s been working behind the scenes to create change: “me and Mr. Dolcy have been working on some things to try and get [school spirit] back up. I’ve had meetings with Mr. Dolcy, Nana, Adam and Makhi and he has some great ideas in mind. Mr. Dolcy is a great person because he actually hears input. He listens. We work together to think about what we can do to make things better. He’s always trying to improve, and I appreciate that. I trust his hands that when I come back, things will be way better.” 

Especially after Covid, JohnEthan was incredibly refreshing in the sense that he had the school spirit and magnetism that all of us wanted to feel but didn’t know how to cultivate. But now that he is graduating, who are we going to look to? 

Luckily, JohnEthan has a plan. “I want to have it like a generational thing. Like I pass it down to a junior. A junior passes it down to a sophomore, a sophomore passes it down to a freshman. But right now, I have three picks. One from each grade.” As senior class president, along with his best friend Makhi, JohnEthan can see the next senior class presidents, Matt and Justin, taking their role. “We’ve been guiding them. And with Nahin, their manager, she’s doing a great job. They goof around sometimes, but it adds to the energy. Goofing around is a key part of it.” JohnEthan is way ahead of the curve and has even scouted a freshman:“for freshmen, Ansel. Even my life mentor says that he reminds him of me. Ansel is like a little brother and I really want him to be on the right path. He has the energy for it, he is always making people smile and I want to see him succeed.” 

When we talk about school spirit, it really comes down to cultivating community, and the feeling that you take pride in not only how you perform, but how you show up as a part of the community. JohnEthan is the man of school spirit because he wants to see others succeed,  he takes pride in our community’s successes, and as a result, brings people together. So while JohnEthan is leaving us and is off to bigger and better things, we can all learn a lot from his unwavering confidence and charisma in order to continue fostering a strong, cohesive community.

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